Yellow tea is a rare style of tea processing that is similar to green tea, but with an additional time-consuming step known as menghuang, where freshly fired leaves are wrapped into small batches, their temperature and water levels carefully controlled with up to 48 hours of constant monitoring. Few tea makers attempt this practice and even fewer know how to control it well. Skillfully made yellow teas are gentle but and complex; often floral, ethereal and mineral.
No one can identify exactly when the production of yellow tea began but the earliest records show its genesis may have come in southern China during the Ming dynasty. Many regions used to produce yellow tea but since it is so complicated to make, the skill has been increasingly lost in many regions. There are lots of old named yellow tea that now that are now made green tea, although still sold under their old “yellow tea” names.
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